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Free Content Understanding reputational concerns within government agencies

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Scholars have argued that government agencies face a complex web of reputational concerns regarding how they are perceived by multiple audiences who prioritise different dimensions of their work. Drawing on social identity theory, we argue that civil servants are concerned about the reputation of the agency for which they work, but also about other actors in the political‐administrative system. Focusing on hierarchy, socialisation, and independence, we hypothesised six possible relationships, which we tested via a multilevel analysis of a survey of more than 2,000 Norwegian agency employees. This reveals that bureaucratic reputation depends not only on how external audiences perceive the agency, but also on how agency employees perceive themselves, particularly in terms of their professional background and organisational affinity. This article therefore highlights the multiple identities of civil servants and the multifaceted aspects of reputational concern; and argues that future research should pay attention to these hitherto neglected intersections of reputation.
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Keywords: agencies; media; ministries; reputational concerns

Document Type: Research Article

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Publication date: July, 2019

This article was made available online on July 16, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Understanding reputational concerns within government agencies".

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